people at Glasgow City Mission

The world's first City Mission

In 1826, a Glaswegian with the social and spiritual concern for his fellow citizens started Glasgow City Mission to respond to the needs of its people.

David Nasmith had a vision for a pioneering method of Christian care where he would meet people's physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Nasmith went on to start City Missions throughout the UK, and from this model, the City Mission movement spread around the world.

Pioneering Christian Care

David NasmithGlasgow City Mission realised that to share the Christian message you had to help the whole person. Glasgow City Mission responded to high illiteracy rates by being one of the first charities in the world to provide evening literacy classes for adults in the 1830s. They had an equal concern for young people and provided ground-breaking evening 'Chimney Sweep Schools for children' who had to work at the cost of their education.

As living standards in Glasgow improved, Glasgow City Mission was careful to meet the changing needs of the city and gradually focused its work on supporting people that were on the very fringes of society.

They also had a community and responsive focus. In 1986 Glasgow City Mission started a Child and Family Centre in Govan, to take action in a community that had become engulfed by deprivation and unemployment.

Glasgow today is almost unrecognisable as the city that Nasmith embraced in 1826. However, some of its people still have acute needs. We continue to pioneer Christian care by providing for these needs both physically, spiritually and emotionally.

New building for a new era

In 2009 in a story of God's great provision, we moved into a new purpose built five storey building in the heart of Glasgow at no cost to the charity. It has enabled us to significantly expand the range of services and holistic care that we offer. Contact us for details of our next building tour, regularly conducted for our supporters. You can also read more about our building in Architects' Journal.

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Watch: how we help


  • Serco asylum seeker lock change

    We at Glasgow City Mission are deeply concerned with the news that Serco are to restart asylum seeker lock-change evictions

  • Refugee Festival Scotland

    Razieh, one of our international guests, has two exhibitions at this month’s Refugee Festival Scotland.

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